If you know the reason you are doing something, you will probably do it better!

Whether you are a student, engineer, mother, father, actor, politician, religious leader or sprinter, this statement is not only true for you, but could also be a major decider of the quality of your outcome.

Perhaps, it isn’t just knowing why you are doing something that is important; it is grasping the CORE REASON – the most important reason for doing it that is critical. This depth of thinking sadly eludes many people who plunge into things without giving them serious thought; the consequence is that their professional or personal life suffers. Chances are that if you have never thought of the most important reason for attending a course, planning an event, getting married, pursuing a particular career or setting off on a business idea or project, you may never achieve the best possible outcome as you do not have a clear idea of the very reason you started on that journey in the first place.

Just having a reason or some reasons for embarking on a particular course of action is not enough. You need to identify the core reason. If not, your approach may be misplaced or worse still, what could have become a monumental success may achieve a pedestrian result. In other words, your efforts may not yield the potential result or anything at all. This is why many people have failed. It is also why people live to regret actions they have taken or ought to have taken but didn’t.

For example, some people sent on training courses go with the mindset to eat themselves silly. Others feel that it is an opportunity to have some downtime from work or to acquire another trophy certificate. They hardly concentrate or consider what they could do differently as a result of the training exercise. These mindsets hardly help to achieve anything constructive for them or their organisation.

The total disregard to this concept is also one of the reasons for the huge problems we have in our continent. It isn’t that African politicians do not have a reason for wanting to be in government. They sure do. Only that their reasons are misplaced. As a result, a continent of 500 million people has suffered the consequences for more than half a century.  Former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan in his book ‘Interventions – A Life in War and Peace’ wrote that shortly after African countries began to gain independence, it was recognised then that the two principal obstacles to African development were energy and infrastructure, yet it is evident today that we are far off from addressing them. He argued that “it is one thing for young and idealistic professionals to identify obstacles to progress and the ways they can be addressed; it is quite another for leaders to see beyond their own personal interests to marshal the resources of their society to the advancement of the common good.” In other words, African politicians believe they are in government to make money, enrich their pockets, rule over people and wield influence forever. Having these misplaced reasons for going into politics, little wonder their only success is messing up people’s lives and desecrating the continent.

If only they understood that the reason for going into politics is to transform society and people’s lives, African leaders and politicians might have acted differently.

The critical issue here is thinking, and deeply for that matter. And this should be extended to everything we do whether in our private, professional or public lives.

  • What is the core reason you are on that training course?
  • What is the core reason for writing the business letter you have just started?
  • Why are you a father, or mother?

The challenge I have for you is to THINK AGAIN!

A serious thought or if you choose to refer to it as quiet contemplation on these questions would reveal the core reason and determine the shade of the outcome you get.

Why not give a thought to some of the things you are doing currently. You will be surprised how motivated you will be to do them better.

If you know the core reason for doing something, you’ll almost certainly do it better.

Written by Gbenga Badejo